John Guillermin's Mr. Patman (identified on the print I saw as Crossover) is one of the more interesting legacies of the late 70s Canadian tax-shelter boom. Like most of the films that came out of there, it has an imported star and director, and although filmed in Vancouver it's mostly vague about its setting - nothing about it tries to evoke or illuminate "Canadian" themes or issues. Coburn's Patman is a night-shift nurse in a psychiatric hospital, empathetic and easygoing and popular, in severe contrast to most of the self-absorbed, tight-assed doctors; women seem to fall into his lap, although his primary emotional relationship is with his aging cat. Patman starts to see things, to imagine people watching his apartment, or colleagues turning up dead: a conversation with one of the patients - suggesting most of them can turn their conditions on and off at will, if there's ever a reason to (the movie makes several ominous references to the grim state of the world) - sets him thinking increasingly about the relative virtues of their life versus his own, and from there on the plot's general trajectory is never in much doubt. Although it has elements of conventional psychological thrillers, the film never commits very passionately to such genre mechanics, seeming happiest with odd bits of business involving the patients and doctors, and with finding ways to inject a bit of nudity. Coburn seems far too imposing for his role, but he gives a real performance, at once engaged and brooding; despite (or in part because of) Guillermin's murky visuals, he turns Patman's, uh, crossover into a largely plausible existential journey. And that's why the film might stand as a symbol of that maligned cultural era - almost everything about it is ultimately about denial, of Canada, of its star, of sanity, of possibility, of rationality...many (not me of course) will choose to add: of meaningful entertainment. It's an embodiment of the insecurity and benign confusion that spawned the ill-fated tax-shelter policy, and that shapes much of Canadian policy today for that matter. Perhaps then it should be reclaimed as a great Canadian movie, albeit largely because of its denial of any such identity.